On 22 September 1979, sometime around 3:00am local time, the Vela Hotel satellite recorded a pattern of intense flashes in a remote portion of the Indian Ocean. Moments later an unusual, fast-moving ionospheric disturbance was detected by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and at about the same time a distant, muffled thud was overheard by the US Navy’s undersea Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). Evidently something violent and explosive had transpired in the ocean.
We look forward to hearing more about this from Robert Headland during the expedition as we’ll be sailing right over the Vela Incident’s site, but for now check out the Wikipedia article to find out more about this strange occurrence. Nuclear tests, a meteor, a computer glitch in the Vela Hotel Satellite? We’ll never know.